January 13, 2008

BibDesk and TextMate don’t play nice together…

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:52 pm by a11en

Well, this may be the nail in the coffin for my use of TextMate for LaTeX writing.  It’s quite sad as well, because I was beginning to like things like drag-n-drop pictures to \includegraphics{} etc.  But, there’s one thing I desperately love about BibDesk and that’s it’s autocompletion feature- it works so well in all cocoa windows.  Sure, there’s some crazy code that parses your bibtex file itself within TextMate, but honestly, it can’t possibly be as nice as BibDesk’s feature.  There’s also an Applescript work around, which is nice but horrendously ugly and not inline on the screen.

It’s quite sad, really, because I was starting to have high-hopes for TextMate as a LaTeX editor.  I guess I shouldn’t try and change things… iTeXMac is working well for me, and it has visual Math buttons etc., for help with odd-ball insertions (won’t have to memorize a 30+ list of completions for math-mode).

Ugh.  I want the best of both worlds… but it appears that TextMate doesn’t play nice with NSText alterations- which I believe is how the input manager plugin works for BibDesk.  Appears they just are completely incompatible.

I rarely write enough code to make TextMate something that I want to keep around… I was just beginning to understand TextMate’s abilities as well… but, it’s a bit to VI in some ways for me… and the die-hard VI users will likely just stick with VI…

We’ll see how I come to terms with this.  Not having the quick and easy auto-completion is a killer for me… I write and cite with almost the same breath in my TeX documents.

sucks big time…

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January 6, 2008

Lost art of writing…

Posted in 7 Habits, FountainPens, Paper at 12:10 am by a11en

Apica Wire-Bound Notebook

A recent TED lecture was just posted. I’m a sometimes TED watcher, often disagree-er, but often agree-er as well. [Sorry for the mangled english- sometimes making up words is just more easier than using real ones.]

The lecture was short and sweet. In the lecture, Lakshmi Pratury discusses the legacy her father left to her. The interesting thing, is the legacy he left wasn’t monetary. It was his written word. [Apparently wordpress hates TED embedded video… so here’s a link: Lakshmi Pratury on why you should write.]

You see, her father passed away and left her a journal and letters he wrote to and about her. He tried to convey to her his thoughts on things, especially on her (how to improve and I’m sure what not to change). In this manner he left her something tangible and intangible at the same time. Something of his own hand, that she can now hold, and something of his own thought, that she can turn to when missing him.

That is an amazing example of what the written word can do. Touching ink to paper can mean much more than just a half-hour of your time to address a loved one. If you’re like me, you have so much going on in your life that often doing just that is the last thing on your mind.

I implore you to take out that stationery, that fine fountain-pen, that special “Haute Couture” ink, and spend a few moments writing. [I will do the same.]

January 1, 2008

Chief Illiniwek > USC Trojans?

Posted in Rants at 7:30 pm by a11en

So, how in the world is the USC Trojans less racist than Chief Illiniwek?  This is a prime example of a one-sided view of racism.  During the half-time show at today’s Rose-Bowl, I saw a Trojan warrior running around on the field with a sword and brush-helmet, and the whole band wearing similar clothing.  All in all, if I had Trojan heritage, I’d suspect I would be as affronted as if I had Illinois Indian (yes, that’s the name of the tribe) heritage.

So, just because there isn’t a tribe that we can pay for the rights to use their image, we can’t use the honorable position of the Chief (which many a young UofI man has fought hard to become and is a revered position)?  Unlike the Seminoles who have an Indian run in on horse-back and fire off an arrow?

So, I ask you, how is the Trojans less racists than the Illini/Chief Illiniwek?  Or, less racist than the Seminoles, if you can’t see that discussion clearly?

It reminds me of an old friend of mine who said that discrimination was only possible in a situation where a larger group of people were oppressing a smaller group of people.  Of course, never mind that if you check a dictionary this is not the case at all.  The only thing I can think of, is that since the Trojans are considered to be “white” and therefore are a larger group of the population, that they aren’t considered to be racially depicted in contrast to the minority American Indians (such as the Illinois tribe).

But, then again, should it surprise me with today’s popular idiot mentality which appears to be running rampant in this ever-PC world?

Speaking of which, another popular topic is the ever present “It’s for the children!”  Like the current Illinois smoking ban (went into effect today)… which I’m so thankful for being enacted… after all, we don’t want any of the 3 year olds who go to the local bars to get an ear infection (which is about the only statistically significant effect of breathing SHS… then again, most bars have modern ventilation systems, which negates that statistic…).  I’m very happy the Children who frequent bars will be safer now.  Speaking of which, here’s a useful TED video for you to watch if you have kids:  “5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do.

Sorry for the side-track there… Let’s just say that unless your team is named after an animal, an inanimate object, or a plant, you better change your mascot…

December 24, 2007

(Christmas) Bread to feed our hunger…

Posted in Christianity, Religion at 3:21 pm by a11en

This will be one of the few religious based posts that I have here. But, it is Christmas eve, and I feel a need to post a bit about it. I am both a scientist and Christian. These two may seem diametrically opposed, unless you have tried this as well personally. They are not opposites, unless you believe in the religion which is also called Science. I will choose not to attempt to convince you, as likely no one can do so. What I will say, is that this opinion also is a rebellion against the majority of my peers (I often find I am in this position)… as Dyson suggests, a scientist as Rebel.

As a scientist, and part-time philosophy student (mostly self-taught, being that life itself necessitates man to find his philosophy, and doubly so for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student…), the works of C. S. “Jack” Lewis are dear to my heart. Lewis paves a path forward through logical deduction and discussion that upgirds the logical in a religion that often asks us to believe the illogical. In Miracles, Lewis records a philosophical treatise about the existence of Miracles. Miracles by nature of their definition are “not of nature”… and are not to be “natural”… except they play out their role in nature (that is our known existence), and so the after-effects are natural. As a scientist do you find you have a problem with the concept of Miracles because they are “not natural”? Well, my friend, that makes complete sense because a priori they are not natural. If that is your only problem with them, you had better do some more thinking, because that’s their definition…

One of C.S. Lewis’ most well known works, Mere Christianity (Simple Christianity), is a wonderful place to start. The simple notion (which I believe Lewis shares also with G.K. Chesterton, although Lewis explained this simple thought much more clearly than Chesterton), is the concept that no craving in Man exists without a way to quench that craving. For lust, there is sex. For ants in your pants, there is running. For need to love, there is woman. For thirst, water. For hunger, there is bread. Yet, we find that Man has another craving. A craving for God. There is a desire in Man that reaches out beyond our earthly existence. Why then should we believe there is no food for this hunger? Isn’t all other hunger in existence capable of being quenched in some manner?

I of course cannot do justice to the amazing discussions of Lewis. Surely Lewis is this century’s greatest apologetic, if not one of our greatest philosophers. If you are a Christian, or are wondering about Christianity from a logical discussion, I strongly suggest you read Lewis’ work(s). I warn you, however, that some of Lewis’ discussions are meant for the older Christians, and he often pushes our thought to the edge with his discussions. The most infuriating thing about Lewis is he’s often right, even when we don’t want him to be. 🙂 This I find grows my faith and my understanding. (I found the first half of Mere Christianity to be the best for me at the time, and the last half did some pushing… I have to revisit the work now that I have read much more of his life’s works.)

I’m certainly not the best Christian in the world. In fact, I often ask my Christian friends to forgive me- I tell them honestly: “I may be the worst Christian you’ll ever meet.” And this is the truth.

I have a post here somewhere that I may revise over this break entitled: “On the importance of vices…” In which I discuss why vices are important. 🙂 So, you see, I am quite bad. I somewhat revel in this badness, to some degree, but at the same time, it often brings heartache. As Lewis discusses in Mere Christianity, we find that when we look inside ourselves, we find that man has a consciousness, and that Man is in the unique position of recognizing his faults and realizing that he falls far from his own mark. Every time I miss a meeting, or a task, or don’t do this or that… or slack off, or procrastinate, or fall short of my mark, I am reminded of Man’s state. Man’s striving for perfection, and Man’s failure to attain it. No other religion in the world describes this state of Man. Thankfully, there is Mercy and Grace to be had.

And, so, I bring this post to a close. I am thankful this season for this Grace, this Mercy, this Love. For, I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living*.

I leave with you a few words of Jack’s which describe my position (from “Is Theology Poetry” published in the collected lectures entitled “The Weight of Glory“):

The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world; the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific points of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!! Hosanna!

ps- I will talk here and there of other religions or philosophical thought on this blog.  However, I felt this season a need to share Lewis’ works, and Christmas with you in some way.

December 9, 2007

Polder Timer- Time Crutch for the Timeless…

Posted in GTD, Lifehacks, Procrastination, Productivity, Work at 9:14 pm by a11en

I’ve been meaning to blog about something that sits on my belt these days… in fact, I’ve become somewhat lost if I don’t feel it by my side. I don’t use it all the time… um, excuse me… time, in fact, is the subject matter of today’s blog post.

I’m slowly coming to a realization and sadness that time just doesn’t wait for anyone. Not even me. You see, I used to think that time would do my bidding. But, in fact, each day I grow older, there is a new grey-hair, and my time for a future family dwindles. Each week spent not focused on my work towards my Thesis and my PhD degree becomes one more week of stagnation and lack of progress towards a happier future. Unfortunately, as everyone who knows me will tell you, time and I just don’t get along. There was one thing I was early for in my life, and that was my birth. After that, I guess, I’ve been trying to make up for it.

I have another small confession to make. Often the reason I’m late is because of my love of what I’m doing at the time. You see, I spend so much of my effort and focus in “The Now” that I literally forget about the “little after now”… which ultimately will become “the now” but apparently I’m not ready for it when it does. That could be because I’m having a deep and interesting discussion about research work with one of my co-workers, and I realize I’m 5 minutes late for my time on a microscope, or it could be because I need my morning coffee “just right”, and I know it takes about 5 minutes to steep. But, what I do know, is I’m passionate and empathic about my current time. I see this as an advantage, but realize that on the other side of “now” it’s a disadvantage.

So, what can I do? What in the world is someone who lives a life bucking Father Time for all eternity to do? Aside from some serious advances in physics and anti-matter, I have to say, I’ve turned to a crutch.

Enter the Polder Timer stage left…

This is the little fellow who’s constantly at my side these days. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t beautiful, and it’s been busted at least once already. What are the things I love about it? How do I use it? Does it work for me?

What I love about it:

The multi-function timer is excellent. The feature which is killer for me is the vibrating feature. The reason for this, is that it’s relatively quiet, but when the timer is on your belt (in your pocket you’ll likely hit one of the buttons) it quietly alarms at your side. One can’t really use a normal timer when dealing with coworkers or technicians etc., and have it sitting there ticking away during your conversation and finally the saxon sounds blaringly loud! Insanity.

(How I use it: )

A little bzzzzzzt on your belt is easily managed. Going to visit an old friend for work, but you can easily get into a 1 hour conversation about life and you have a ton to achieve that afternoon? Before entering his office, set the timer to half-hour.. 15-20 minutes of work talk, 10 minutes of fun-talk. Let him know you have to go at xxx time, and then talk away. It will suck when it buzzes, but honestly, if you’re polite about it, and let him know you’ll return soon, I’m sure it will go well. It can be done relatively incognito also, so the conversation need not end immediately after the buzz. Not to mention you always have the ability to make conscious decisions about your time (Covey) when it’s required. Did he tell you a doozey? His dog just died last night? You can reschedule your next meeting if it’s important to your friendship.

What this timer allows me to do, is manage time and allow my brain to roam free (until the buzz) as it usually does. Instead, it is brought back to earth when I want it to be (my setting on the timer). This is a wonderful wonderful thing. An example… the EDS on the Scanning Electron Microscope needs like 2 minutes to get it’s job done, and the darned machine that runs it has no sound (ugh windows)… set your timer for 2 minutes, read your journal article, bzztt… EDS is done, get back to the SEM. 🙂 Works like a freakin’ charm. I use it like that all day. Need to check on the growth-chamber and check it’s vacuum before growth? 5 minutes degass, 5 minutes off, measure, etc. I can go back to my desk sure that I’ll be reminded of when to check the gauge.

I also use it to do dashes of work when I’m not in front of my computer… 15 minutes of focused work, 5 min. break etc., (or 2 min. but I always eek out more break).

Of course the timer also has a visual cue (blinking red-light on the top you can set if you want), as well as a nice loud buzzer as needed. In the dark, the visual cue is nice, can set the timer down and not disturb SWMBO’d.

What I don’t like:

The belt clip that came with it was busted within the first week. I liked that it had a clip, stand, and magnet on it… but it was too weak. What did I do to solve the problem? For about a week I tried to use it in my pocket, but I always touched the buttons, etc., and it was a pain… so I scoured around various stores to find a cheap stick-on cell-phone clip replacement. Found one, gorilla-glued it on the back, and now I have an excellent clip to hold it to my belt. I’ve got plans to add the old magnet to the clip, but haven’t yet. It’s much easier to clip and unclip now that I’ve replaced the belt-clip. 🙂

Also, unfortunately, there is little to no memory. That means I set the darned thing all the time. This isn’t so bad, but a few memories would really make work-dashes much easier.

Counting stops at the alarm. I’d much rather it continue on. So, if I set it for 5 minutes, for some reason I miss it, how long did I miss it for? When was that buzzer going? I’d love to know if I missed it by half a minute, or by 20 minutes! No such luck. You can count up from zero, you can count down from X, but you can’t count up from zero after counting down from X. Kinda sucks.
But… the price is right. Nice and cheap, and the killer apps (vibrating and light alarm) are very worth the price. (Even with added new belt-clip.)

The stigma:

I took it on my chin for about a month with SWMBO’d… I got crap like: “Oh, whatcha going to do, time how long dinner takes?” … (while heading to the bathroom one night)… “Oh, whatcha going to do, time how long it takes you to SH… (ave)”? 😉 [I added the ave]… Oh, she’s a cad alright. Real cad. Real funny gal. But, my timer is still on my belt, and it’s still helping me work. So, if you can live past the joshing you’ll take, you might just fine that a crutch like a timer will really help your timelessness.

Coming from a serious space-case and procrastinator extraordinaire, it’s certainly helped me.

(Oh, BTW, just for the record, Grace Kelly was so damned hot. I just had to let that out. Hell, if I was a King, I’d have married her. Holy crap. (TCM on tonight.))

November 25, 2007

PaperPhilia- Midori Japan’s Traveler’s Notebook

Posted in FountainPens, Paper at 12:40 am by a11en

My love of fountain-pens (FPs) has produced side-effect loves that I never thought would happen when I first put ink into my first serious FP. The side loves have included excellent ink and excellent paper. I’ve discussed the effect of ink and paper on writing experience in the past (FPs -v- BPs). Molly, from whom I purchased my first Japanese notebooks (Apica), sent me a journal to get my opinions on it. I have to admit not being sure of this journal at first, but a bit of digging and using has solidified some things about it, and I wanted to share them here. I’ll have to devote a different post to discussing the Apica notebooks (as I’ve fallen hard for them). I’ve reviewed the Apica on the FountainPenNetwork’s forum in the recent past, so I’ll wait on that review for another time.

Midori Traveler's Notebook

(More images and my review after “more”…)

Read the rest of this entry »

November 13, 2007

The Happiest Man In The World?

Posted in Christianity, EasternPhilosophy, Productivity, Rants, Religion, Work at 1:57 am by a11en

A very quick blog-post regarding a recent TED lecture I listened to (posted recently from 2004) on the training of our minds to focus on happiness… I’m supposed to be working on a journal article review, so I must make this short…

Matthieu_Ricard‘s TED lecture regarding happiness touched on something I have come across before (just found his Google lecture– will have to watch that also). During his talk, Ricard discussed how Anger and these types of emotions can be destroyed, by focusing on the actual emotion of anger, rather than the event of the anger which frustrates you. Surprisingly, a light-bulb went off above my head (I have it on my desk now- well, ok, maybe I’m joking… ). You see, this sounded very very much like the talk of a great man I truly admire- C.S.Lewis in his discussion of his search for Joy in Surprised By Joy. [note- this is not the complete focus of Lewis’ book, but it does play a role in his discussion about happiness and his pursuit of it.] You see, Lewis realized (as the great philosopher he was), that every time he was truly happy and went to observe what happiness meant, he all of a sudden was no longer happy. The conclusion that Lewis came to, was that Happiness itself cannot be studied, aside from the event of happiness which could be experienced. In otherwords, observing his emotions technically, meant that his motions ceased to be. And this very much ties in with Ricard’s discussion of Mind-Training (say through meditation). Basically, observation of the state of being Angry, turns your focus from Anger’s object, and upon the object of You and how you are experiencing anger in its pure form- your emotional response only… say the physical response of your body to your emotions, etc. A very interesting twist on a concept I had heard of before.

Frustration reared its ugly head for me in my work these past few weeks, and the action(s) of a supposed friend/mentor has me quite fuming. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to complain, and so I must move forward, not to let my emotions dictate my actions or my ability to act. In fact, a negative response to this likely won’t do any good at all. And so, this week, I think I’ll take a page out of Ricard’s book, and observe my physical and mental response technically in regards to my emotions of Anger, and see if I can’t make them more fleeting, as Ricard says… as birds flying across the sky, leaving no trace on my mind.

There are many things that Christians can learn from the mystics and philosophers of the east- just as Chesterton saw them, I also see them- they are philosophers and scientists, not solely religious focused practitioners. Buddhism and the like is a religion, and then again, it isn’t. Very much like a koan itself… it has no specific god, but sees all as god at the same time. What is much more interesting, is to look at how Buddhists (and Toaists) see Man’s position in the world, and how one copes with one’s existence, and the mystical explanaitions of such existence. Very interesting.

Oh, and as much as you can believe f-MRI (and I have my doubts sometimes), Ricard and his fellow Monks were completely off the charts in the studies [2] they participated in. So, meditation does change the brain…

Not only do we have to learn good habits in our work, etc, we must also learn good habits in our mind. Ricard’s closing statements about how much we focus on our exterior, good health, exercise, etc., and contrastingly, how little we spend on our interior, mental processes, health, and internal happiness, was very poignant.

Update- Wednesday; November 14, 2007- Reading more has been interesting. I wanted to add a few points.

• It’s clear that some of the Catholic Astheticists have a link of common experiences with monks of the East. Merton recognized this, and it led to a long discourse (which still exists to this day) between Tibetan Buddhism and Catholicism (here the Trappists). It’s also clear that there is a wariness occurring in the Catholic church about the amount of Buddhist practices which are entering into many churches and retreat centers etc. In fact before he became Pope, the new guy also was discussing this. It appears that the “grass is always greener” syndrome is happening here for many western Christians.

• I think there is a delineation that should be made between a mental practice of a methodology know to alter the mental state, bringing about this “mental training” that Ricard discusses and practicing religious aspects of a methodology that should likely raise some warning flags for Christians in the process. For example- the concept that all is the same and all is nothing… this is somewhat Nihilist and should raise some flags… while we may not know for sure, a Christian believes this is not correct. I.e., that there is a truth and a wrong in the world, and that there is a divine truth and a divine good. And that man is separate from this divine good etc. Much of this discussion will not jive with many aspects of Buddhism. But, this does not mean that a philosophy separate from a religious practice cannot have portions of truth in it for the Christian believer. As C.S. Lewis would say in regards to the earlier religions that had aspects similar to the death of Christ, etc.- it is not these earlier religions that show the fault in Christianity, in fact, it is the very fact that they harken to a truth that is Christian that upgirds Christianity. They share partial truths, namely because there is such a thing as the full truth. It shouldn’t surprise us if man every once in a while stumbles across a truth which we find also in our Christian teachings.

• I focus on the philosophy of the eastern thoughts, not on the religious aspects (unless I’m doing comparative religious readings), and find the majority of this all quite interesting. Those who are familiar with Sin should immediately recognize reflections of it in Tao “The Way”. C.S. Lewis did, and commented on it in his “The Abolition Of Man.” I.e., to live a sinless life, one needs to flow around obstacles in one’s path like a river around rocks… (that east-west image I just created should give you a sense of the richness of this type of discourse)

• So, I step forward here, deeply interested in meditation again since reading of the fMRI results. Anxiously awaiting the future publications of this work. And, I am now reading what I can about practices etc., to determine if I can mix meditation “mind-training” into my current spiritual life. BTW, I see some practices in the Eastern Christian sects that have this meditation history (Jesus prayer etc.), and so it is likely that there is a synergy here. Merton and the Dalai Llama certainly noticed it… it should be an interesting experience…

• ps- “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome actually works both ways… in my experience, a good portion of the Chinese students who arrive in this country are just itching to talk about Christianity with anyone who seems open to it. They have a real curiosity. So, it goes both ways. 🙂 They also will chat about ConfuTse and ChuangTse etc., if asked… which can be quite interesting as well. [ps- I love ChuangTse more than both ConfuTse and LaoTse. While LaoTse may have been the first, ChuangTse was the one who expressed it the best.]

October 23, 2007

WLS-AM Difficulties in Streaming Audio

Posted in Mac, Mac Software, Rants at 11:31 am by a11en

Well, I figure it’s time for a small mini-rant.  After all, you guys get tired of listening to me not-ranting, don’t you?  😉

I’ve been a long-time listener to WLS-AM (890 kHz- Chicago, IL).  When I can’t get it via the radio, I often attempt to get it via streaming audio.  Recently, the radio-station made a change to how it was streaming its audio.  It appears they have contracted out the audio streaming to some insane company called  players.eonstreams.com.  Fine.  Just fine.  Except, well, that it’s impossible for me to stream their audio anymore!  I can’t get their stream in anything other than a d*Q!#@ web-browser with their !@!@# pop-up window and in-line advertisements.  Well, that’s just b-e-a-utiful.

They’ve lost a listener, at least an on-line listener.  They used to be one of the major online radio streams, and I can only guess that now, they aren’t even registering in listenership.  Why oh, why, WLS-AM did you need to make this change?  Honestly, do you think it was worth it to get a few more adverts up to only support web-service streaming with weirdo-pop-ups and platform specific audio?  [Windows media player only!]  What in the world is happening up there at the station?  Someone dropped the ball on that one.

Guess the money was worth it.  Well, you can count me out on listenership online.

October 1, 2007

The Importance Of Dreaming…

Posted in Procrastination, Productivity, Work at 8:42 pm by a11en

One of the critical aspects of human nature is man’s capacity for imagination and dreaming. Recently, I’ve been exploring my thoughts as they arise a bit more than I have in the past. The reason for this, is that I’ve found my dreams are critical to my happiness.

Somehow as we age, and as our responsibilities increase, we slowly learn to turn off our dreams. We no longer dream of being an honorable fire-man or police-officer. Somewhere in the more adult version of us is a little whisper that we didn’t have as a child. It says things like: “Come now, that’s silly, you can’t possibly entertain that dream…” In some senses, we’ve either altered our consciousness as we’ve aged, or we’ve added a new darker conscience. Now, I’m not saying we all leave our jobs and pick up learning the fireman’s carry… but, perhaps some of you who’s deepest passions really do bend towards public-service and fire-fighting should consider joining a volunteer fire-department?

What I’m merely suggesting, is not to let go of dreaming. It’s one of those easy things that costs almost nothing. It costs a bit of day-dreaming time. I suspect (and am finding in my own life) it’s very very important.

When I talk about dreaming, I’m not only talking about the pie-in-the-sky type dreams we used to have as kids, but I’m also talking about thinking and dreaming positively about the future of our lives. In other words: “What would it be like if *I* was the manager?”… “What would my house be like if I had any ability to do what I wanted to with our house when we first bought it?”… “How would I be towards my wife if I truly was happy with our lives?” Now, be careful of negatives slipping in there… but, if you had all the time (and the kids weren’t waking up at 2am for water), how would you act with your wife? What would be your night on the town?

If I’m having the effect I want on you, hopefully I’ve touched off some day-dreams. Now, the next step is critical… I want you to entertain those dreams just a bit.  [If you are like me, just thinking of doing that is going to bring a smile and a smirk to your face.  Relish that smile for a bit…]  That night out you just thought of? How much money and time would be required for that? But, you have kids? Ok, well, how much for a babysitter for the night? Can you get someone to watch them overnight? See what I’m doing? I’m trying to get you to entertain what it might take to make some of your dreams come true.  Just *how* much would a Lear Jet to Paris really cost?  [go find out!]

When you start to see your dreams as being possible, start to entertain them a bit, a change likely will begin to happen. That negativism (that little conscience that used to say- yeah, but you’re grown up… or you’ll never make it… ) is quieted a bit. You’re turning a bit more positive in your dreaming, and positive in your life directions. And this, my friend, is *so* important.

I’m learning this first-hand. Somewhere down the line of my graduate work, I slowly became more and more depressed. Depressed because I wasn’t saving the world; wasn’t making the talks at conferences I expected; wasn’t publishing to the level I had dreamed of when I first started. Over the years I somehow started seeing me as someone other than I was at heart. That was at the core of my general malaise. Then, a dream, (which I likely won’t talk about here unless things look like they’re moving forward positively) became possible.

Oh, likely it won’t ever happen, but, I found myself encompassed by that dream for 3-4 days straight. Thoughts of: “I’ll never make the cut.” ; “I don’t have the physical ability for this.”; “I’m not fancy enough for them.” Were riddling my thoughts… but somehow, that possibility of the dream I had when I was younger was constantly in the fore-front of my mind. And it caused me to smile. I was laughing at myself. Seriously, I’m entertaining this craziness? Yes. I was/am. Hilarious. So, I continue to entertain this possible dream, and that’s when I noticed a positive change in attitude. I seem to have more energy to set goals and tasks than I had before. All because I had a focus, and a hope for something I never would have ever tried.

So, my thought for you, is to dream. Think of those things that used to focus your interest as you were younger. In the very least, entertain them at least a little. Are there hobbies or things you could learn that would make you smile a bit more? If you find a little dream (say learning to tap-dance, or paint with oils, or play the piano, or even learn to enter and exit a burning building…) talk with your spouse about them. Tell her of the importance of dreaming, get her to dream and talk to you about what she would love to try and do. Share your thoughts/ dreams/ idiot ideas together, without negativism. As your spouse’s help-mate, confirm her dreams, and either openly, or in secret, help her to pursue them.

I suspect that you will be finding a bit of a spring in your step, and more smiling happening. We are living on this earth a short time. It would be a shame to get to the end, and not to have done a few things that your adult-conscience would have said “Silly stupidness” to. Or, that negative voice saying: “You can’t possibly do that.”

The difference between adventurers and those who read about adventurers happens right after they dream. If you’re an adventurer, you’ll entertain that dream and make it possible against all odds.

September 27, 2007

Weekly Schedule Uploaded (stub)

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:57 am by a11en

The previous post has been edited to include the file for my weekly schedule.  Short new thread to update anyone using an RSS reader.  Any and all comments appreciated.

Cheers!

Earworm: “One Two Three Four” performed by Feist from the album Bonnaroo 2007, Manchester, Tn

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